The Solicitor General, the top lawyer in the United States, and his team passed down a written recommendation to the Supreme Court that the case against Colorado’s cannabis legalization law be dismissed. The lawsuit, filed by neighboring states Nebraska and Oklahoma in 2014, claimed that Amendment 64 infringes the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause.
Donald B. Verrilli, the Solicitor General, is the third highest ranking official in the Department of Justice, and the lawyer chosen to represent the federal government in front of the Supreme Court. The brief recommending the case against legalization in Colorado not be heard by the Supreme Court was filed on Wednesday December 16.
The brief, which references several previous cases of precedent to backup his decision, explains that this is not the type of case that the Supreme Court should address first. A case such as this should first be heard by a district court.
The brief states:
“The motion for leave to file a bill of complaint should be denied because this is not an appropriate case for the exercise of this Court’s original jurisdiction.”
It continues, “The Court’s exercise of original jurisdiction is also unwarranted in this case because the preemption issue could be raised in a district-court action.”
Tom Angell, long time activist and founder of the Marijuana Majority commented,
“This is the right move by the Obama administration. Colorado and a growing number of states have decided to move away from decades of failed prohibition laws, and so far things seem to be working out as planned. Legalization generates tax revenue, creates jobs and takes the market out of the hands of drug cartels and gangs.”
This recommendation by the DOJ will likely impact the Supreme Court’s decision.